Page:Books Condemned to be Burnt - James Anson Farrer.djvu/85

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CHAPTER III.

Charles the First's Book-Fires.

FEW things now seem more surprising than the sort of fury with which in the earlier part of the seventeenth century the extreme rights of monarchs were advocated by large numbers of Englishmen. Political servitude was then the favourite dream of thousands. The Church made herself especially prominent on the side of prerogative; the pulpits resounded with what our ancestors called Crown Divinity; and in the reign of Charles I. the rival principles, ultimately fought for on the battlefield, first came into conflict over sermons, the immediate cause, indeed, of so many of the greatest political movements of our history.

The first episode in this connection is the important case of Dr. Roger Manwaring, one of Charles's chaplains, who, at the time when the King was pressing for a compulsory loan, preached two